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Baker v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division

April 4, 2014

Gregory Baker, Plaintiff,
v.
Wexford Health Sources, Inc., Nedra Chandler, Bessie Dominguez, Arthur Funk, and Darla Habben Defendants.

ORDER

PHILIP G. REINHARD, District Judge.

For the reasons stated below, defendants Nedra Chandler and Darla Habben's motion to dismiss [30] is denied and defendant Wexford Health Sources, Inc.'s motion to dismiss [20] is denied.

STATEMENT - OPINION

Plaintiff, Gregory Baker, an inmate at Dixon Correctional Center, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his complaint, plaintiff alleges violations under the Eighth Amendment for deliberate indifference to medical needs. He specifically names Wexford Health Sources, Inc., (a Florida corporation engaged in the business of providing health care services to inmates at certain correctional facilities in Illinois), Nedra Chandler (the Warden of Dixon Correctional Center), Darla Habben (a Food Service Supervisor at Dixon Correctional Center), Dr. Bessie Dominguez (a physician employed by Wexford Health Services, Inc.), and Dr. Arthur Funk (the Medical Director at Wexford Health Source, Inc.), as defendants.

Dr. Funk and Dr. Dominguez have answered plaintiff's complaint. See [32]; [33]. The remaining defendants have filed two separate motions to dismiss. See [20]; [30].

Defendant Wexford Health Sources, Inc. ("Wexford") argues it should be dismissed from the case because plaintiff has failed to allege that Wexford has an unconstitutional policy that caused his alleged constitutional deprivation. See [20]. Defendants Chandler and Habben contend they should be dismissed from the suit because the complaint fails to allege they were deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's medical needs. See [30]. Both motions are brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

"To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12 (b)(6), the complaint must state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Yeftich v. Navistar, 722 F.3d 911, 915 (7th Cir. 2013) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). "Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief." Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). In cases such as these, the inference of liability is only "speculative." Id.

The amended complaint sets forth three counts under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deliberate indifference to medical needs. Count I asserts a claim against defendants Dr. Dominguez and Dr. Funk. Count II asserts a claim against defendant Wexford and count III sets forth a claim against defendants Chandler and Habben. All three claims relate to plaintiff's delayed medical treatment for an injury he suffered in July, 2011 while working in the Dietary Building at the Dixon Correctional Center ("Dixon").

Specifically, plaintiff alleges that on July 11, 2011 he was working his assigned job detail in the kitchen at Dixon. See [13] ¶ 12. He claims that he went outside to the loading dock and defendant Darla Habben ordered him and another inmate to unload a hot box (a large metal box used to store pots and pans) out of a food service van. See id. ¶ 13. Plaintiff claims he told Habben he did not have experience unloading hot boxes, but Habben ordered him to assist anyway. See id. ¶ 14.

Pursuant to Habben's instructions, plaintiff began to unload the hot box with the other inmate. While the two managed to get the box out of the van and onto the dock, they eventually lost control of the box causing it to fall on plaintiff's right forearm. Id. ¶ 15. Plaintiff states that another inmate observed the incident and rushed over to help lift the box off of his arm. Shortly after this, plaintiff located defendant Habben to notify her of the accident. Apparently, at this time, plaintiff did not believe his arm was seriously injured and told Habben he thought it was a sprain. Id. ¶ 17.

The next day plaintiff's arm was bruised and swollen and he was in more pain than he had been the previous day. See id. ¶ 18. He claims that he showed Habben his arm and requested immediate medical attention. Plaintiff states Habben told him that she needed to speak with a supervisor to see if she could accommodate his request. Allegedly, later that day, Habben informed plaintiff that her supervisor had denied his request for immediate medical care, and instead instructed plaintiff to sign up for sick call the following day. Id. ¶ 19.

Plaintiff followed these instructions and was seen by a nurse at sick call the next day. Allegedly, the nurse examined plaintiff's arm and told him that she would place him on a list to be seen by a doctor. Id. ¶ 21.

Plaintiff alleges that he waited weeks to see a doctor and during this time his hand got progressively worse. He claims he complained repeatedly to various nurses at sick call but was only given ibuprofen and an ace bandage. See id. ¶ 22.

Plaintiff states he finally saw a doctor (defendant Dr. Dominguez) on August 2, 2011. Id. ¶ 24. At this time, Dr. Dominguez examined plaintiff's arm and informed him "something was out of place." See id. Ten days later, plaintiff visited Dr. Dominguez again and was told Dr. Dominguez would be recommending plaintiff to an outside orthopedic doctor. A few days later, however, Dr. ...


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